Incorporating Online Technologies

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This semester, a course offered to 3L students that will prepare them to be successful on the Bar Exam is being taught remotely one day a week using Adobe Connect.

What is Adobe Connect?

Adobe Connect is a desktop videoconferencing tool. With this tool, one can be at his/her desk and using a computer with an Internet connection and a browser and share documents, images, and audio and/or video.

It was primarily developed to allow one person to give a PowerPoint presentation to one or more participants (students) at the other end. Adobe Connect will let you upload your pptx file and will convert it to Flash. Everything in Adobe Connect is Flash-based since Flash is the video format most conducive to the Internet and is installed on almost all personal computers.

For interaction with participants (students), there is a Chat pod and a Notes pod for posting important information.

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Each meeting or class is recorded and this flash video is posted in TWEN for students who missed the class or would like to review the material for a second time.

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Using this technology, the students have the advantage of a live lecture from an expert on the topic being presented.  This expert can present from anywhere in the country.

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Each professor has a different area of expertise.

On the remote instruction day, the class is divided into two smaller sections. On the other day, the combined class receives face-to-face instruction.

At the beginning, students watched, listened to and took notes on the lecture than was delivered remotely.  There was little interaction but students were encouraged to email the professors with any questions or concerns.

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After a few weeks, this changed. Students were now given the link so they could sign into the site. (Their names were listed in the Participant List and the presenter could then address the students by name.)

This made the students feel more a part of the class.  When the presenter asked questions, the students could respond in the chat pod. The students were more engaged and the presenter could direct his lecture toward the students’ answers and respond instantly to their questions.

This also enabled students to participate even if they were unable to attend class that day. They could log in from their home computer.

Remote instruction cannot replace those face-to-face live discussions that take place when the professor is physically in the classroom. However, in our case, students do meet one of the professors one day a week.  On the second day, instruction is synchronous where a professor lectures live through Adobe Connect to the whole class and the students participate through chat.

Any other law schools use remote instructors for their courses?

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